Introduction

Kicking off what we've dubbed "Doom 3 Week" here at AnandTech, we're bringing you our in depth analysis of video card performance under Doom 3.


Staying up all night benchmarking one of the most anticipated titles of the past few years has been very educational for us. Quite a few impressions we had about what our Doom 3 experience would be like had to be thrown out the window, and it all comes down to the fact that this is an impressive game no matter how you slice it.

Our goal in this review is to cover all angles of graphics card impact on playing Doom 3. We will explore everything from the ultra high end down to the bargain basement cards. We've also included such favorites as the GeForce 4 Ti 4400, the Radeon 9700 Pro, and the Radeon 9600 XT. All the usual suspects put in an appearance as well to make this one of the most comprehensive graphics tests we've undertaken in a while.

But let's get down to it: we're here for the analysis, so lets take a look at the system we're testing on and iron out the details about what to expect from this review.

UPDATE: We have recently been made aware of ATI's beta Catalyst 4.9 drivers targeted at Doom 3 performance enhancement. These drivers will not be available in a whql package until September, but until then, here is a sneak peek at percentage performance improvement over the 4.7 drivers:

 Catalyst 4.9 Performance Improvement
  High 10x7 Ultra 10x7 High 16x12 Ultra 16x12
X800 XTPE 6.75% 8.29% 4.66% 5.21%
X800 Pro 6.87% 8.50% 2.99% 4.09%

 Catalyst 4.9 Performance Improvement w/ 4xAA Enabled
  High 10x7 Ultra 10x7 High 16x12 Ultra 16x12
X800 XTPE 19.07% 19.80% 14.38% 15.30%
X800 Pro 5.38% 6.18% 1.83% 3.40%


We can see that the biggest performance improvements come on the higher end platform, higher quality setting, higher AA setting, and lower resolution. We were unable to install this driver on 9800 series cards, but we hear that performance improvement on older platforms is less significant than what we see on the x800 series.

UPDATE: The issues we experienced with the eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme have been fixed with an newer version of the card sent by eVGA.com that (among other things) dropped the core clock speed down to 450MHz. We put the card through a grueling series of tests which confirm its rock solid stability under Doom 3. The scores with the new stable revision will be slightly lower than the previous Ultra Extreme (because of the clock speed decerase), but it is still the fastest card we've tested with Doom 3.
The Test
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  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    we looked at doing a radeon 9550 ... if you absolute want it (and ask in the next 10 minutes) I may just sit down and run the card. From our understanding, its just and underclocked 9600 pro, which would likely put it at running medium quality at 640x480 to get by. Reply
  • bearxor - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    VILLAGERS DEMAND RADEON 9500 PRO BENCHMARKS!!!! Reply
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Wow ... ummm ... I had no idea that this thing would post the article page by page as I entered it into the engine ... Not working on much sleep makes one overlook certain important options in the engine I suppose.

    Sorry about that guys. Hopefully I won't be doing any all night benchmark-the-game-the-day-it-comes-out articles for a while and I can leave the posting to our wonderfully talented Managing Editor.
    Reply
  • billbillw - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Looks like my systems will be able to play this at high quality at 1024x768. For me that will be fine. Reply
  • billbillw - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    I dont think so punko. At first it was just and index, then there was a little content. Now its complete. Reply
  • punko - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Naw

    the problem that this "all night work" left them too dazed to build the web page properly
    Reply
  • cosmotic - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    Whats this? realtime posting? Maybe you should make the article invisible until it is complete? Reply
  • vaeren - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    I suppose we'll never know what the third page of the article had to say. For all we know it could say that a SLI voodoo2 will run it beautifully. Reply
  • mcveigh - Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - link

    where be de article!!!! har har! Reply

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